Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma with NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, among others, at the first Entrepreneurship & Startup Summit in Shillong on Tuesday Credit: EastMojo image

Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma is all set to launch an open challenge for government officials in the state so that they can come up with creative solutions to existing problems and issues in the state.

While addressing the audience as the chief guest of Meghalaya’s first Entrepreneurship and Startup Summit 2020 on Tuesday, Sangma said, “Our officials are a storehouse of talent and ideas and in order to tap this, we will soon launch an open challenge for the government officials in the state for them to come up with innovative ideas to existing issues and problems in the state.”

A monthly award on the lines of ‘entrepreneur of the month award’ will be launched for outstanding musicians and sportspersons from the state in order to keep them motivated while also creating a strong base for the fostering of music & entertainment industry in the state. The same is set to be implemented from the financial year 2020 itself.

Sangma inaugurated Meghalaya’s first ever incubation hub called the PRIME hub for state entrepreneurs which will provide handholding, mentoring and incubation support to startups and persons with innovative business ideas in order for them to upscale their business.

The CM also stressed on the need to focus on music incubation centres given the fact that the state has a huge talent pool of musicians and artists whose talents remain untapped.

Meanwhile, NITI CEO Amitabh Kanth, who was present on the occasion as the guest of honour, extended full support to the Meghalaya government by saying that NITI Aayog aims to make the state as a model of tinkering labs for India. “Meghalaya has a huge potential in four main sectors and the same needs to be tapped at the earliest to provide a boost to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the state,” he said.

While addressing the ‘Top 100 Entrepreneurs’ selected through the ‘Chief Minister’s E-Champion Challenge 2019’, Kanth also stated that the NITI Aayog would soon initiate a meeting of state entrepreneurs with India’s young and successful startups to enable idea sharing and networking which are the key drivers of entrepreneurship culture.

The Entrepreneurship & StartUp Summit was held for the first time by the Meghalaya government with an aim to create a dynamic and collaborative ecosystem for entrepreneurship support and development through PRIME (Promotion of Innovative and Market Driven Enterprises) with easily available credit, relevant technology, skilling and mentoring support and access to high leverage market linkages. The summit witnessed the launch of PRIME programme, honouring of Meghalaya Chief Minister’s E-Champions (Top 100 Entrepreneurs), Unveiling the state’s Entrepreneurship Promotion Strategy and Inauguration of Meghalaya’s first ever incubation hubs, the PRIME hub.

The summit witnessed an impressive line-up of speakers including Mekin Maheshwari (founder, Udhyam, former CPO, Flipkart), Sagar Daryani (CEO & co-founder, Wow! Momo), Mark Laitphlang Stone (CEO & founder, Group Avenues), Pradeep Gupta (chairman & managing director, Cyber Media, India Ltd), Rudy Wahlang (musician), Pauline Warjri (pianist and director of Aroha Choir), Paul Mukhtieh (chairman, NEDFI) and resource persons from Indian Institute of Management- Calcutta Innovation Park, among others.

The summit hosted an awards ceremony cum entertainment evening with performances by Lamphang Syiemlieh, Megha Warriors, Rikune / Snap Paka, fashion show, among others. A fashion show was also presented with local fashion designers from the state.

Of the top 50, the top 25 entrepreneurs were felicitated by the chief minister with a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh (cheque), a certificate as well as a memento. The remaining 25 were felicitated with a cash prize of Rs 50,000 (cheque), a certificate as well as a memento. The rest of the Top 50 were awarded with a certificate and they have secured a place at the PRIME hub centre in Shillong and Tura for a period of one year.

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